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Another month passes by. How quickly they seem to be, autumn is almost upon us. The month to be, at least for parts of the northern american continent, is the time persistent gardening work will be underway. Planting the fall bulbs, moving spring blooming perennials and tidying up the beds are a few such to do’s.

Autumn is a wonderful time, for me it is the sound of the airborne leaves that tumble in the wind, and the smells, who doesn’t love the robust, earthiness of fall [yum…]. The best part of it all is the time gardens take a long nap, dreaming up wonderful things for spring.

If you are able to find wild mushrooms for this recipe, please give them a try, they are wonderful; a nice change of pace to the bright lightness of summery dishes. This recipe is hearty for cooler evening meals or a quick lunch in the garden, but still gentle in flavor if the weather makes us feel we are in that of July.

Mushroom Tart Recipe

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled & cut into bits

4 Tablespoons vegetable shortening

3-5 Tablespoons ice water [depending on the humidity of your flour]

2 large whole eggs

½ cup cream

1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced or quartered

1/4 cup shallots, diced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

preparing the tart crust:

1. In a food processor, combine flour and sea salt.

2. Add chilled butter and shortening, processing until a coarse meal forms.

3. Pour in ice water and process until a ball of dough forms.

4. Place dough onto a work surface and knead until a smooth ball forms.

5. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

preparing the filling & custard:

1. Whisk cream and eggs together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

[Half of a teaspoon of salt was used.]

2. Sauté shallots in butter on medium heat until translucent.

3. Add mushrooms, cooking on high heat until browned, approximately 3-5 minutes

4. Sprinkle in fresh rosemary and cook for another minute to release flavor.

*If there is a lot of liquid from the mushrooms, discard.

5. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a twelve inch circle and line a 10-inch tart pan, pressing dough into the sides and removing access. Chill for 10-15 minutes.

6. Place the mushroom mixture evenly over the bottom and gently pour over with custard.

7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until custard is set and edges are beginning to brown.

Serves 6-8.

*notes: For a crisper crust, blind bake the tart shell for 10-15 minutes. As pictured in the ingredient photo above, line the shell with parchment paper and pour in 1 ½ cups beans then bake to precook the tart dough. Beans are a great alternative to pie weights that are very costly. Just store the cooled bean and use only for this process.

*Mélange is a fancy word for mixture of.

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